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  1. #1
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    Mt. St. Helens Proposed for National Park

    I just received the latest Trail Access and Advocacy Update from Backcountry Bicycle Trails Club (BBTC) and have learned that WA Senator Maria Cantwell is proposing to turn Mt. St. Helens into a National Park. Some of you may already be aware of this but this was news to me. If the proposal goes through we may lose access to those trails in the Mt. St. Helens National Monument area. BBTC has partnered with IMBA and PUMP to work on trying to maintain mtb access to all the current trails. BBTC is putting out the plea and asking folks to contact Senator Cantwell and let her know that you support continued access to these trails. Follow the link for more info on contacting the Senator. There is also an example of a sample letter you can send the Senator as well as more info about the proposal and a list of the potentially effected trails http://tinyurl.com/2prfzw
    Last edited by ormtbr; 03-07-2008 at 06:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ormtbr
    . If the proposal goes through we may lose access to those trails in the Mt. St. Helens National Monument area.
    Change "may" to "will" and that statement is correct. I don't think there are any parks that allow bikes on singletrack, although there has been some talk about allowing it. Don't hold your breath.

    There was some talk a few months ago about making Silver Falls a national park, but there were so many good reasons not to do so that I think it's been put to rest. Hopefully the same will happen for MSH.

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't appose a MSHNP at all. The monument is so poorly managed as it, it would be an improvement for MSH.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan
    I wouldn't appose a MSHNP at all. The monument is so poorly managed as it, it would be an improvement for MSH.
    Can't argue with that. But I still think it would be a shame to lose what we already have. Seems with some of the compromise orchestrated on the Mt Hood WIlderness Bill (at least as far as it got in the last session of congress) that allowed some of the trails to remain open to bikes could be incorporated into National Park designation.

    But as has been said the NP has pretty strict rules regarding bikes on trails. It gets in the way of the master plan to build easy access for every American to drive right up and have a look for themselves from the comfy confines of their climate controlled land yacht.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    Change "may" to "will" and that statement is correct.
    Yeah, I should have said *will*. It was a late night posting. What can I say

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan
    I wouldn't appose a MSHNP at all. The monument is so poorly managed as it, it would be an improvement for MSH.
    I've only done the drive-by tour of MSH, so I don't know much about it. What's wrong with the current management?

  7. #7
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    You guys realize that Mt St. Helens is in Washington - not Oregon right?
    My Bike: '96 Gary Fisher Aquila
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  8. #8
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    You guys realize that Mt St. Helens is in Washington - not Oregon right?
    You realize many of us ride...and ride places other than OR? Trails that close other places can impact people all over. Whatever though. Oh, the humanity.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  9. #9
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    Yes, and living in Portland it is a lot closer to me than for people in Seattle, or Olympia for that matter.
    And as Brock pointed out, we are talking about a National Park with far-reaching implications. But I wouldn't worry, if Sen. Tom Coburn (R, OK) has anything to say, he'll put the brakes on that legislation as fast as he did the Mt Hood Wilderness Bill. You'd be hard-pressed to find a greater partisan effort that considered many factions (including keeping some trails open to bikes) to come to a workable compromise that will preserve even more of that northwest icon.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    I've only done the drive-by tour of MSH, so I don't know much about it. What's wrong with the current management?
    I don't know much about that either. There's not a lot of money from the feds to do anything with the "Monument" designation, so some of the roads and trails and facilities (read: visitors centers) are suffering from neglect and decay. It's also sort of limbo as to who actually manages it: is the National Forest Service or the USGS? Both of whom have a stake in it. A National Park would fall under the pervue of the Parks Department and would get funded from a much better served budget. Cantwell and her supporters on this have a great and valid point: Mount Saint Helens is a stunning and awe-inspiring living, breathing (FUMING!) example of natural history unfolding before us and should be protected. But protected from what? I would like to hear more on this subject. Look at some example of other National Parks. Been to Yellowstone lately? Nice view of that RV, huh? To see Yellowstone you have to get out beyond the roads and then you might find some of the wildness for which it is protected, but leave the bikes.

    The riding within the monument is not the most amazing trail riding around. There are some great challenges and some different terrain, but no more amazing than a lot of other great riding in the area and the west in general, but the chance to ride a bike across The Plains of Abraham at over 4000 feet on the eastern flanks of an active and live Volcano has got to be a unique experience.

    Yellowstone was a National Park long before mountain bikes came into their own, but we have been enjoying some of the most breathtaking scenery I have ever beheld from the saddle of a bike on Mt St Helens and with a National Park designation that all goes away. Maybe it is best, but I want to know to what end.


  11. #11
    Lost in the Trees
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    Change "may" to "will" and that statement is correct. I don't think there are any parks that allow bikes on singletrack, although there has been some talk about allowing it. Don't hold your breath.

    There was some talk a few months ago about making Silver Falls a national park, but there were so many good reasons not to do so that I think it's been put to rest. Hopefully the same will happen for MSH.
    There are some trails in National Parks open to bikes. At Saguaro National Park here in Tucson, there is an open trail. The precedent is there. Perhaps keeping trails open when a park is formed would be easier than opening trail afterward.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl
    . A National Park would fall under the pervue of the Parks Department and would get funded from a much better served budget.
    I wouldn't count on that, the Park Service budget has been cut pretty hard the last couple decades. The folks in DC don't really give a damn about parks, I'd rather see the state take it over. Although I don't know how Washington treats its parks, in Oregon they're pretty good--compared to the feds, anyway.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufudufus
    I wouldn't count on that, the Park Service budget has been cut pretty hard the last couple decades. The folks in DC don't really give a damn about parks, I'd rather see the state take it over. Although I don't know how Washington treats its parks, in Oregon they're pretty good--compared to the feds, anyway.
    Good point, but from what little I understand, the Nat. Park Service has a better budget than the Monument designation gets. Plus there is the greater level of protection.

    The State Park option is intriguing, but I believe it is federal lands anyway, so it's a moot.

    In light of Sen Coburn holding up the Mt Hood Wilderness, the issue of fiscal responsibility raises a good point: what good does legislation do if we cannot afford it?

  14. #14
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    Status Quo Ante

    Quote Originally Posted by rjcarlson49
    There are some trails in National Parks open to bikes. At Saguaro National Park here in Tucson, there is an open trail. The precedent is there. Perhaps keeping trails open when a park is formed would be easier than opening trail afterward.
    I like that option a lot.

    That is also the model of the proposed Mt Hood Wilderness legislation. Compromise was reached to keep open trails that are currently popular mountain biking trails. However, to achieve that they made some creative boundaries so as not to conflict with strict interpretations of the Wilderness Act. I believe the National Park issue has more to do with policy, a lot easier to get around than an act of congress.

    Didn't realize there was single track riding in Saguaro; might have given it greater consideration when I was down there last month.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kona0197
    You guys realize that Mt St. Helens is in Washington - not Oregon right?
    The WA board is fairly Seattle centric though. I'm an Oregonian in Seattle, and even I think of St. Helens as more of an Oregon/Portland ride then a WA ride.

    Given that WA already has at least 3 national parks, I really don't think another is needed, especially at the expense of such unique mtn bike trails.

  16. #16
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    Emails sent to representatives.

  17. #17
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    On the note of no bikes in National Parks.......I'm not going to take the time to find the links and get the info absolute, (it's late and I'm tired) but I read not long ago in BIKE, that IMBA (I believe) is behind a proposal for letting bikes on certain trails in certain parks. They are conducting a five park study at the moment ( Saguaro being one of them I believe ) and hopefully they will find it a positive experience and allow us to ride what the "other folks"....drive through. Stay tuned and read BIKE and Dirt Rag.
    My .02's and plug for the day

    Cheers
    Eric

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